How to Start an Independent Record Label and Get Artists to Sign With Your Label

There are a number of record companies out there today and each one operates differently. Some record labels are huge companies that have hundreds of acts to promote. These are the labels that carry the most popular, commercially viable rock bands and singers. They can offer artists huge sums of money to sign with them and they've got the experience and to promote them heavily. Their business model has dominated the music recording industry for years, but that's been steadily changing.

Rock artists and bands have found a way to get around all that waiting for the record label by self-publishing their own music. The good news for bands is that it's getting easier and easier to do this. The down-side is that it's not cheap and it's not easy. It's a serious business venture that can either make or break a person financially. Still, if the risks are well-calculated, the marketing is done right and the music is good, there's a huge chance of success.

Starting out with a small budget? It's ok, it really is not necessary to have a gigantic bankroll to get started. With only a few hundred dollars, more than one small record label has sprung into existence. Investors can also be persuaded to donate funds to a new record label start-up. In order to get them to invest though, expect to produce a sound business plan and good future revenue projections.

Most small record labels start out life as a way to promote and sell a single act. The label focuses all of its attentions on that artist or bands albums and songs. This narrow-minded approach works well for new labels, giving them time to learn the routes before expanding. Over time, the record label has the potential to expand and grow, taking on new talent to promote.

There are several things that need to be done before a record label can begin producing work. This is the time for planning out the record labels future. Every business benefits from a well-rounded business plan and a record label is no different. It's important to write everything down and work out all the details of how the label will be run. Setting realistic goals and accurately projecting revenue and expenses not only directs the company towards it's goals, but it also helps lure in future investors.

A lawyer or reputable source should be consulted to create contracts and other legal documents. Whether these are documents the company will use or those that need to be signed, have someone look them over that has experience. These things are nearly impossible for laymen to read and understand so leave it to a professional and you'll be less likely to have problems.

After the business plan has been developed, one of the first things would be to choose a name and maybe even a logo for the record label. It's best to choose a unique, short, snappy name. Consider choosing one that suits the genre of music that will be promoted. It's of the utmost importance that any name be thoroughly researched. If the name is already being used, it's time to come up with something new. Infringing on someone else's copymitted or trademarked name is a bad first move that could cost a bundle.

A unique record label logo or company image can make all the difference. Images speak to people and the record label logo should reflect what the label stands for. Over time, as the record label grows and becomes more public, this logo will become more and more recognizable. Consider how famous the 'Sun' records label has become over the years. It's all a matter of making an impression on the public.

In order to set up a bank account for a record label, it's necessary to have legal proof the business exists. The quickest way to do this is to file what's called a DBA, or Doing Business As form. These forms are super short and are available at the courthouse. It's as easy as filling out a form, signing it and handing it to a clerk for filing. The DBA form usually suffices as identification for the business and a bank account can be created for the business. Having a business checking account will make paying musicians and vendors much easier. Another benefit is that it'll appear more professional from the start.

Once the record label is set up and the financial stuff has been taken care of there's nothing else to do but get down to business. A record labels main function is to promote artists and their music. A small record label has the potential to pick up untold numbers of talented actions, just like the big players do. Unlike the large companies, they do not have millions of dollars to throw around. That just means they've gotta be smart businesspeople, great leaders and inventive marketers.

Nearly everywhere there's a local live music scene. This is one of the best places there is to find new talent. Many a mega rock star was discovered while performing at an obscure venue. Bands playing at this level are hungry for attention and they're willing to work for it. In order to find the best talent, a new record label should have representatives everywhere the music they sell is being played live.

It's important to take the time to talk to all promising singers or bands that are found. A portion of them will be under contract with another label, but give them your card anyway, things change. Others will not be quite ready to sign with a label, they get a card too. And then there will be a couple that are ready to sign on the spot and these are golden! Do your job well for these first clients and your record label could get noticed.

Over time, your ability to attract new talent to your label will depend on its performance. Do a fantastic job of marketing the artists and their music. Your job is to sell them, period. Send out press releases, do interviews and advertise online. Set up a website for your record label and advertise your artists there. Take each and every CD you produce to independent record stores and any other place that will take them.

Develop a sound marketing strategy that works and run with it. Remember to keep things simple, stick with artists that work in the same genre at first. You can expand as you grow and learn about the business. Get excited about the music you're new record label is putting out and let the world know.

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5 Tips to Establish Yourself As an Artist

Any artist that's interested in marketing and selling their work at galleries, art festivals or online must know a few things before they begin. This article will discuss five major components beginner artists should think about before they embark on their journey as a successful artist. The first is believe in yourself. Second is create artwork that sales and third is becoming a business. Lastly, find a place to sell your work to help build your name and creditability. Let's take a look at each one.

1. Believe in yourself . One of the most common negative trait many artists have is not believing they are a good enough artist. This is a bunch of bologna. If you have sold any artwork at all you are good enough. You may have to work on a few things but you have to start believing in yourself. I know an artist named Eric McCray who said he put a sign up for himself that said "Believe in Yourself" until he became the artist he wanted to be. So please, believe in yourself and tell all the negative thoughts in your head to shut up!

2. Create artwork . Create 20 to 30 pieces of artwork that are all consistent with each other. Do not paint landscapes, portraits of pets, and abstracts. Choose your niche and stick to it! When collectors and galleries see your work they look for consistency. It shows that you are a professional. Also create art that sales. Do not create art that is boring, dull or dark. People like to feel uplifted so please create your art accordingly.

3. Become a business . Set yourself up as a business. Get business cards, business licenses, separate checking accounts and etc. The worst thing you can do is at an art show and you do not have any business cards. You are completely missing out on sales. Next, get a website to help promote yourself as an artist. Website are fairly inexpensive these days and can be easily set up in no time. Also, read information about starting a business and have an entrepreneurial mindset.The more you learn about running a business and using different sales technique the better. Selling art is not just about applying to art shows ,, selling on Etsy and being represented in art galleries but about marketing yourself nonstop using various marketing strategies that will help propel your business. I encourage you to read more books about marketing and selling as much as you read books on creating art. This will help you build the right mindset to run a successful business.

4. Find places to sell your work . Apply to art shows, art festivals, gift shops, galleries and the like. Do not go to libraries, coffee shops, or restaurants. People do not go to these places to buy art. Just like real estate where location is king, same goes for finding places to sale your work. You have to place your art in front of people who would be willing to buy your art without any problem. Make sure you consider locations that are conducive to your market. You also want to put your art in front of people that pertains to your niche. If you paint birds you may want to sale at bird shows or several gift shops. Since I paint images of musicians playing different instruments I apply to music festivals. Do you see what I trying to get at.

5. Build a name for yourself . When you begin to sell your work at festivals, galleries or online set in motion your brand. Market yourself in such a way that when people think of art, or your niche, they think of you. The more you put your art in front of people the more chances of galleries and other art windows seek you out. You can also build your name by giving yourself a nickname like "the bird painter" if you paint birds. This could serve as your brand when building your customer base. I use a slogan that says "Jazz Up Your Life" since I paint musicians playing jazz music. When ever I do an outdoor show I have a sign up with that slogan above my tent. People respond to it very well.

Using all these tips can create a major impact for anyone trying to sell their artwork in their local area. There are a plethora of information out there that will mention many of these tips over and over again simply because they work. The more you focus on just creating art without planning on how to market and sell your artwork you will lose out. So please take head to these tips and move forward to becoming not just a good artist but a successful selling artist.

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Love by Keith Haring Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war. Haring's work was often heavily political and his imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the 20th century.